God, the Superhero

Jeffrey Weston at Ape, Not Monkey explores how it would play out if god were a superhero:

You can read the rest of the strip here :)

I wonder what his Kryptonite would be… People who think critically?

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Anonymous

    God is too busy fixing the outcome of high school football games in the US to do anything useful.

  • Anonymous

    “I wonder what his Kryptonite would be… People who think critically?”

    Free-will baby. It would be tough playing an RPG character that couldn’t violate anyone else’s free will.

    Superman:
    http://i.imgur.com/lKElC.jpg

    It would be tougher if the Game Master said, “Yeah, you’re character could save all those people… if he existed. Now roll a real character…”

  • John R.

    Reminds me of an old Spitting Image comic that was published in the UK in the mid ’80′s… http://howtobeafraidofeverything.com/images/komic3.jpg

    • http://www.facebook.com/DocMonkey Mick Wright

      Holy crap, I’ve still got this somewhere in an annual from 1986.

    • Anonymous

      So, why do believers bother praying?

      • Goodgollyollie

        Believers pray for the same reason people speak in an audible voice. Not because they want whatever from a cosmic vending machine.

        • Ben F

          Goodgollyollie, your statement makes no sense.  People pray because they want something from their deity, whether it is comfort, health, wealth, safety, love….all the same things people seek from horoscopes, palm readers, tarot card readers and so on.  

          • Goodgollyollie

            People pray because they want something, this is true. That doesn’t make them right. The lords prayer includes the words “thy will be done” and also does not include material things but spiritual things. Daily bread, trespasses, forgiveness, etc.
            Prayer isn’t a gimmie this, gimmie that hotline.

            • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

              You’re right. Because prayer doesn’t work. At all. If you pray for strength, all you have to do is find the strength within yourself, and BOOM there it is! If you pray for your loved one’s cancer to go into remission, and it just so happens to do so (which isn’t impossible or anything), BOOM, prayer worked.

              It just so happens that prayer is about as effective as random chance. Go figure.

      • Anonymous

        To make themselves feel good and pretend that they are doing something when they aren’t. It’s sort of like a placebo

  • Fett101

    The strip Tom The Dancing Bug has done this better and with several strips.

  • Heidi

    More like:

    “Help, there’s a giant tsunami…”
    “I know. That’s part of my plan.”

  • Goodgollyollie

    Comparing god to a comic book super hero is an example of small minded thinking.
    One may consider an act of heroics as created a race of beings that could never equal his powers or meet any needs which he has no needs an act of heroism since he has the powernto create and uses it.
    Andnthen allows man to choose his own course and rescues the entire race with a single act and endows him with the capability to be a vessel for his spirit or essence.
    Superman can rescue an individual from a certain instance, not an eternal consequence.
    No being could be gods equal as this would render god to not be god.

    • http://www.facebook.com/DocMonkey Mick Wright

      It’s also worth noting that the concept of  ‘hero’ could never be applied to the Abrahamic deity.

    • Newavocation

      What? I would think using god as an answer for everything is simple minded.

    • Anonymous

      Sense. You are not making it

      • Goodgollyollie

        Is that really why you are here, to post clever little quips? Please, this blog seems to be a discussion for adults. Can we save the garbage for you tube?

        • Anonymous

          Garbage in – garbage out

          There isn’t really a meaningful reply to what you posted there

          • Goodgollyollie

            Well stev, other that an ignorant atheist on a n anonymous web blog I haven’t seen much from you either so I guess we are even.

            Grow up.

    • Nordog

      “Comparing god to a comic book super hero is an example of small minded thinking.”

      Perhaps, but as exemplified here it is little more that yet another report in the echo chamber of fatuous ridicule.

      • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

        We ridicule because these beliefs deserve ridicule. You believe that prayer is effective at anything more than soothing the one who is praying? You deserve ridicule. Prayer is no more effective than random chance. In fact, there have been studies that showed that heart surgery patients who knew they were being prayed for, ended up doing worse than other groups in the study.

        A lot of people in Texas prayed for rain, or at least an end to their drought. What did they get instead? Record highs in temperatures, an even worse drought, and barely a drop of rain from the sky. Are Texans not true believers? Are they not praying hard or long enough? What is the sorry, pathetic excuse this time around? Maybe we haven’t waited long enough for this God character to get off his butt and answer the prayers? Or maybe it’s too materialistic for God to bother with?

        • Nordog

          FTR, even if everything you just posted is factually and absolutely accurate, it would in no way contradict my comment to which you replied.

          • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

            It’s an atheist blog. Do you really think calling it an echo chamber is an insult, especially considering most of its visitors and commenters are atheists as well? Fine, it’s an echo chamber. Maybe if the theist visitors had something new to say, some new arguments, some new evidence, anything of interest, it would cease being so.

            • Nordog

              It is telling that you find no interest in the dichotomy between open-mindedness and an echo chamber.

              Personally, I find observing the intellectual equivalent of genetic inbreeding found here very interesting.

              But as someone recently and euphamistically posted here, this is not the place fo  the end-all-and-be-all of intellectual arguments from atheists.

              Understatement is interesting too.

      • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

        We ridicule because these beliefs deserve ridicule. You believe that prayer is effective at anything more than soothing the one who is praying? You deserve ridicule. Prayer is no more effective than random chance. In fact, there have been studies that showed that heart surgery patients who knew they were being prayed for, ended up doing worse than other groups in the study.

        A lot of people in Texas prayed for rain, or at least an end to their drought. What did they get instead? Record highs in temperatures, an even worse drought, and barely a drop of rain from the sky. Are Texans not true believers? Are they not praying hard or long enough? What is the sorry, pathetic excuse this time around? Maybe we haven’t waited long enough for this God character to get off his butt and answer the prayers? Or maybe it’s too materialistic for God to bother with?

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      Why is it “heroic” to create a race of inferior beings and then demand that they bow down to you and worship you? I think that’s small-minded for a supposedly superior being. Why are you so focused on the alleged superiority of this God character anyway? He hasn’t shown anyone that he’s superior. Killing innocent children because their adult neighbors and elders were sinners doesn’t sound so superior to me. Demanding that we stone each other for the silliest acts (being gay, not being a virgin at one’s wedding night, etc.) isn’t very heroic. This God character of the Bible is a downright bully, jealous and proud of it, evil to the core. If he were indeed real, I’d have a thing or two to say to him in the afterlife. Of course, there is no afterlife, so all we have is the here and now to ask these questions of the people who believe in such nonsense.

      Also, If we have free will, then why do people bother praying?

    • Ratsnake

       Actually, I compare him to Bigfoot, Loch Ness, and the Tooth Fairy.

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org/ Adam Lee

    Don’t forget God-Man! He’s the superhero with omnipotent powers.

    http://www.fecundity.com/pmagnus/godman.html

  • Nordog

    Apparently, for many atheists, if God existed He must prevent everyone from dying.

    People die.

    Therefore there is no God.

    Therefore again, people who believe in God are fools, prima facie.

    Or something like that.

    Corollary: If God does exist and people still die, then God is evil and I would reject Him anyway.

    • http://www.facebook.com/keithacollyer Keith Collyer

      Troll. Strawman argument and you know it

      • Nordog

        Be that as it may, I’ve read atheists here that have explicitly made the “corollary” I mentioned above.

        Regarding the rest that came before the corollary, it follows from the nature of the “humor” in the cartoon.

        And you know it.  ;-)

    • Anonymous

      More like, IF a superhero with great power existed, the world would operate differently.

      Some religious people make the claim that an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God is watching over us. There are implications to that claim, if it were true.

      There could be deities somewhere in the universe; however there is no good reason to believe such creatures exists since there is no positive evidence to support such a conclusion. Furthermore, if deities existed, how would we know there is only one? And how would we know that it was the god of the bible?

    • Anonymous

      Then don’t claim that your god is omnibenevolent. And don’t pray for help when people get sick, are caught in natural disasters or otherwise in trouble

      If your god helps some people in need there is no reason why he couldn’t help all. Could a being exist that only helps some when he feels like it? Maybe (but very unlikely). But it’s a capricious god not worth worshiping

      • Nordog

        So…you argree with my post?  (Or so it seems.)

        • Anonymous

          Not one bit. That doesn’t follow from anything I said

          • Nordog

            Then our opening your reply with, “Then don’t claim…” etc. is a problematic rhetorical choice.

        • Anonymous

          Not one bit. That doesn’t follow from anything I said

    • Goodgollyollie

      Good post nordog. It’s funny that atheists seem to adhere to claims of using intellect and science and yet they use the loosest reasons as why there is no god. Someone prayed and didn’t get what they wanted= god doesn’t exist. Your corollary is sound to as atheists will have any reason to reject god. It’s the naturalist position, anything. As long as it isn’t god.

      • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

        Why is it that theist visitors point to the arguments used in comments, and not to the arguments used in actual posts? All we do is fly by, post a random nugget of brain output or two, and submit it quickly. If you want real arguments against gods, please don’t assume that the comments section here at Friendly Atheist is the be-all end-all of intellectual repartee.

        • Goodgollyollie

          The friendly title is starting to become questionable based on some of the comments I am seeing.

          • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

            That’s “Atheist”, the singular form, as in the author. It doesn’t describe the visitors, just the author. Hemant is a very friendly guy. Us? Not 100% of the time, especially with ignorant bible-thumpers trying to stick up for their imaginary friend.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

            This site is pretty friendly actually.

          • ACN

            A clever gambit, when pressured, resort to “none of you are very friendly!”.

      • Anonymous

        We don’t have to  prove that there is no god. The burden of proof is on you.

    • Goodgollyollie

      Good post nordog. It’s funny that atheists seem to adhere to claims of using intellect and science and yet they use the loosest reasons as why there is no god. Someone prayed and didn’t get what they wanted= god doesn’t exist. Your corollary is sound to as atheists will have any reason to reject god. It’s the naturalist position, anything. As long as it isn’t god.

    • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

      For many atheists, not believing is not a matter of having a “proof” of god’s non-existence.  It is just a matter of probability and likelihood.  Speaking for myself, I just view the existence of God (and particularly the existence of the God depicted in the bible) as very improbable.  Until better evidence is available, I simply adopt the null hypothesis that there isn’t such an entity. 

      Certainly there are foolish believers who believe prayer works to change weather patterns as there are foolish atheists who believe they have found an absolute proof of the non-existence of all supernatural deities.  I have observed that the more sophisticated believers don’t actually think their specific prayers will be answered.  They view prayer as a demonstration where they supplicate themselves to “get in good with God” for a deferred payout in an afterlife.  These believers don’t have a laundry list of things they want in this life.  They simply want continued existence (in what they call heaven) so they have developed a lifestyle of continual pandering to the deity they believe decides who goes where.  These believers tend to pray just for others to also demonstrate that they are not selfish.  That might help them in the most selfish pursuit of off – continued life after death.

      The present comic illustrates some problems with the belief system of the foolish believers.  It would take a different comic to illustrate some problems with the more sophisticated believers.  The main point would be that if there was a deity that needed to be impressed with one’s devotion, how do we know what set of rituals to follow?  How do we know that the Christian way is what impresses God?  Why not Islamic or Buddhist?  Personally, I think the whole scenario of needing to impress a God through any devotional activity is highly improbable.

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      How long have you been hanging out here, Nordog? It’s been at least a year, and you’re still laboring under some very basic misconceptions.

      Yes, this comic criticizes the personality of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic deity. That criticism has no bearing on whether or not said deity exists. Obviously, we believe it is fictional, just like we believe all the other gods and goddesses are fictional. Even if your god was described as nothing but a fountain of puppies and rainbows and unicorns, we still wouldn’t believe in it. We wouldn’t believe in it because we don’t see any evidence for it, period.

      Even if we all agree that the description of your god is immoral, “Therefore there is no God” does not follow. Morality (or lack thereof) has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not your god is real. Similarly, no one has accused people who believe in your god of being fools. I do not believe that theists are fools. I don’t believe they’re stupid. I believe they have been indoctrinated, in most cases from the time they are toddlers, and that it’s difficult for most people to conceive of a non-supernatural reality when they have been immersed in supernaturalism since birth.

  • Nancy G

    One of the letters to the editor of our local paper was very smugly congratulating the faithful of the region for the prayers that caused their god to turn hurricane Irene away from us. The quick response posted pointed out that bypassing our region caused entire towns to be devastated further north. Apparently, New Jersey, Connecticut, etc, didn’t pray well enough …

  • Anonymous

    Humour is like kryptonite to God.

  • http://aratina.blogspot.com Aratina Cage

    “I wonder what his Kryptonite would be…”

    Why, iron chariots, of course.


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